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First meeting gets LEP off the ground

posted 22 Dec 2010, 02:23 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 14 Aug 2014, 07:22 ]

The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Board met on Monday 20 December for the first time, marking the start of a new way of working for the City Region. 

Sheffield City Region was recognised by the Government as one of the UK’s first Local Enterprise Partnerships in October, at the meeting last night the newly-appointed private sector Board Members and the Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University were able to meet the local authority leaders of the city region.

The key economic issues affecting the Sheffield City Region and a number of important infrastructure projects were identified, as well as discussing a way forward for increasing the collaboration between all parts of the region. 

Heralding the importance of public and private sectors working together, local business is at the heart of the Local Enterprise Partnership with James Newman as the private sector Chairman and six private sector Board members brought together with the Civic Leaders to form a new board from scratch. 

James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP said: “I am delighted to welcome all my new colleagues from the private sector to the Board. There were a large number of applications for the six places on the Board and those selected are of the highest calibre and will, I am sure, contribute significantly to the many challenges facing the Board. 

Between them, they span a broad spread of business sectors and all the geographical parts of the region, which should assist in bringing together the key industries and other partners, so essential to the success of the LEP.’’

One of the first key tasks is to communicate the aims and plans of the LEP with the private sector and to establish a way in which the wider business community can input into the future economic growth of the region in alongside and in partnership with the public sector.

Councillor Paul Scriven, Leader of Sheffield City Council said: “It was a great first meeting that focussed both business minds and public sector leaders on the job of getting the right things done for the local economy to promote economic growth and jobs. All in all, a very positive start to get our economy to where it should be.” 

The board showed their determination to ensure that the manufacturing national hub is based here in the City Region and are focused on ensuring we have great housing to drive the economy forward.

James Newman added: ‘’It was an excellent first meeting of the new Board, which is one of the first in the country to meet as a LEP, where its private sector members have been selected in an open recruitment process. 

“The task ahead is a challenging one, but I am confident that with the cooperation between the local authorities in the region, coupled with the private sector and university input, the Board will be able to set the strategic direction and economic targets and encourage and support both the private and public sector to work together to achieve these aims. ‘’  

The board will now be moving fast to get the first business plan to Government so that the LEP can get the tools to get on with the job.

The next LEP Board meeting will be held in January 2011. The board will continue to meet monthly for the initial six months.

For a list of the board members, please click here.

Team Bromley athletes’ lead British challenge in Skeleton World Cup

posted 21 Dec 2010, 03:11 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 21 Dec 2010, 04:13 ]

Team Bromley’s athletes, Shelley Rudman & Kristan Bromley have had a strong first half of this year’s FIBT Skeleton Bobsleigh World Cup competition. 

The four races in the North American leg of the competition have seen them come into the Christmas break with six medals between them from a potential eight. They also have second place rankings in the respective overall World Cup standings and as with last season the Team Bromley athletes have been the only Great Britain team sliders to win World Cup medals; adding this year’s haul to date to the eight medals won last season.

The Team Bromley athletes performance last year and their excellent form this season has contributed to an unprecedented level of orders for runners and sleds from other athletes and international teams, and currently Bromley Technologies supply 15 nations from their base at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham. 

Given the performance of the athletes using Bromley equipment it is arguable that if there was a constructor’s championship between the two British based sled technology programmes, as in Formula One then Bromley Technologies, having won nearly every medal in the last two seasons, would be the leading constructor.  

Mike Maddock, COO of Bromley Technologies comments;

“The results from the first half of the year have been excellent, and show the consistent high quality of the Bromley equipment supporting our athletes. Although we exceeded our R&D targets in getting our athletes and also a number of clients to Vancouver in February, it was tinged with the disappointment of not topping what had been an amazing season by winning a medal at the games.

“It’s pretty much a case of ‘situation normal’ now, collecting all of the British medals so far this year, and showing that the Bromley equipment can perform well on all tracks across the world. It is great to have both Shelley and Kristan currently standing as second in the world rankings, as this is a great tribute to the technology and athlete partnership. We have great hopes for the remaining part of the season and delivering on this year equipment R&D programme and we are over the moon that Shelley & Kristan are happy with the support being delivered by our team.

“In addition to our Team Bromley athletes, Shelley & Kristan, we have had a very good year with commercial sled sales and it’s great to see our customers performing well on the World Cup, Intercontinental and Europa Cup tours.” 

In the current World Cup rankings Kristan is in 2nd place with 802 points, only 17 points behind the current leader Martins Dukurs of Latvia. Similarly Shelley also lies in 2nd place in the women’s world rankings with 814 points, 36 point behind Anja Huber of Germany. 

The World Cup competition resumes in Igls, Austria on 14th January, ahead of the final three rounds in Winterberg, Germany, St Moritz, Switzerland and Torino, Italy.

Full House at Aspen Court

posted 21 Dec 2010, 01:02 by RiDO Rotherham

Northern Trust is pleased to announce that their 95,000 sq ft industrial scheme at Aspen Court, Rotherham is now fully occupied.
The announcement comes following the latest letting of Unit 12 to Skylite Packaging Ltd, who has taken a 3 year lease on the 1,588 sq ft unit. Three other companies’ have recently expanded their businesses and taken additional space on the estate. These have included:
  • Bereco Ltd who have taken an additional lease of Unit 4 taking their total occupancy to 9,656 sq ft
  • EMSC UK who originally occupied 4,149 sq ft have taken an additional 540 sq ft
  • APC Industrial Services Limited has leased an additional unit and has increased their occupancy from 3,535 sq ft to 5,454 sq ft
The high quality industrial estate split into 23 industrial/warehouse units is now home to 19 companies.
Skylite Packaging Ltd commented “Aspen Court is lovely and we feel right at home on the estate. Everyone is very friendly and it’s a great place to work from.”
David Lee, Regional Property Manager for Whittle Jones, managing agents acting on behalf of Northern Trust commented “Aspen Court occupies a strategic location at Centurion Business Park, with excellent transport links. With high quality units and the ability to offer flexible tenancy agreements, the estate has attracted a range of new and existing businesses. We are pleased to have been able to accommodate a number of current occupiers in their business expansions by offering additional space. Aspen Court has proved a huge success and we are delighted to announce it being 100% let.”
Northern Trust’s portfolio covers over 227,800 sq ft in the Rotherham area, providing a range of high quality units ranging from 786 sq ft to 14,000 sq ft.
Aspen Court lies on an 8 acre site and benefits from on-site security, incorporating CCTV, own self contained/shared service yard, with generous extended circulation and car parking areas. The units offer excellent office facilities with glazed elevations and benefit from electronically/manually operated up and over loading doors.
Neil Keally, Director at joint-agents Burgess Commercial in Rotherham commented “Aspen Court has certainly proved a popular estate during 2010, not only to businesses within Rotherham but also to existing businesses re-locating to larger premises within the estate.  It’s been encouraging to see the estate continue its success and return to being fully let.  Aspen Court has certainly defied the general trend of difficult market conditions, assisted by continuing to appear an attractive and well-managed estate.”
For further information about Aspen Court contact one of the joint agents Burgess Commercial (01709 721706), or Whittle Jones (0113 245 6787)

Dormer edges closer to pre-recession levels

posted 17 Dec 2010, 01:25 by RiDO Rotherham

Dormer Tools has enjoyed a significant increase in sales of more than 20 per cent for 2010 and is likely to achieve pre-recession levels of two years ago.   
The UK arm of the engineering firm is enjoying better than expected results two years after moving to their facility at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, which was officially opened in January 2009. 
Dormer’s premises at the AMP incorporate a state-of-the-art training suite and a major research and development facility - one of only four such facilities worldwide. Both areas have played a significant role in providing customers across the UK with the right cutting tools for their applications. 
Dormer believes its decision to place greater emphasis on training staff and customers on their products is leading to an upturn in the amount of tools being sold to blue chip organisations as well as small and medium sized enterprises.   
The increase has also been supported with the recent launch of new a branding strategy for its high performance tools - Spectrum and Elect - which simplifies the decision making process for Dormer’s client base. 
Chris Herring, business development manager at Dormer Tools, said: “We have seen a significant increase in the amount of high performance tooling being sold during 2010. It is a case that we are not only selling more products, but we are selling more of the right products. 
“A couple of years ago we re-wrote our strategy to shift more focus onto research and development and training to handle any effects of the recession. Since moving to the AMP we have underlined the importance of customer’s application requirements and we are now starting to see the benefits. 
“Our research and development centre of excellence is tasked with identifying, devising and delivering new products and machining solutions. Products are only created if there is a market need.   
“As soon as a product is launched we provide an extensive amount of training for our national sales staff and distributors to help them identify what products to sell to what customers. 

“Increasing their knowledge and understanding of the machining process has enabled them to identify the optimum product for each customer’s requirement. This has then lead to positive results for the client, building Dormer’s reputation as an expert supplier.”

Dormer has its own research and development facilities and also works closely with many of the world’s leading Universities and research institutes to ensure it remains at the forefront of tool design. 
Further information is available by contacting Dormer on 0870 850 4466 or by visiting

Bromley PES and Materialise UK team up for international audience.

posted 15 Dec 2010, 07:31 by RiDO Rotherham

Bromley PES and Materialise UK have teamed up to show their combined capabilities in engineering design & rapid manufacturing to an international audience.

The companies had been invited to exhibit within the Sport Technology zone of the Technology World show held recently at London’s ExCeL Arena. The event in association with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), allowed representatives from leading international companies looking to generate investment, collaboration, research and business development opportunities to meet with UK science and technology organisations during the two-day show. 

The Bromley Skeleton Challenge simulator was the star exhibit of the Sport Technology zone which saw visitors from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games and the Kazan 2013 Universiade attend. Bromley showcased its R&D and manufacturing capability in producing Olympic winter sport equipment, and as the world’s leading commercial developer of high performance skeleton and bobsleigh products, currently supply the team’s of nearly 20 nations. It’s equipment has also provided the British Skeleton Bobsleigh team with all of its medals in the past two years of World Cup competition. 

The main focus however for the companies, based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, was to showcase their capabilities for industry, as Dan Fleetcroft, design director at Bromley PES commented;

“It was an extremely successful show for both ourselves and Materialise. We had a large number of enquiries for our joint services from companies in the film production, lighting, aerospace and automotive industries, and also a potential bespoke design project using reverse engineering.”

Bromley PES is a new breed of engineering consultancy that specialises in providing performance engineering solutions by enhancing the performance of components, products and systems through integrated engineering thinking and innovation in design, materials, manufacture and testing.

Materialise enjoys a worldwide reputation for its activities in the field of rapid industrial and medical prototyping, as well as being a provider of innovative software solutions. Materialise’s Low Volume Manufacturing Solutions, allow production ready components to be manufactured in days whilst minimising investment costs. 

Together the two companies can offer a comprehensive service to clients as Philip Hudson, managing director of Materalise UK adds; 

“Shows like Technology World are important to highlight the latest developments in engineering design, rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing technologies. Techniques that were not realistic options only a few years ago are now available. In addition to exhibiting at these shows we are visiting businesses to showcase the technologies available and show how they can be applied in many processes to drive efficiency and new provide innovative ways of manufacture. We’re also keen to work with companies to understand their issues and for them to challenge us to provide a solution.”
To find out more about the capabilities of Bromley PES and Materialise visit and

Retailers catch on to Storeplan

posted 15 Dec 2010, 01:39 by RiDO Rotherham

Rotherham based glazing specialist, Greenberg Glass and Glazing has cemented its position as a major supplier to the UKs high streets with the signing of its 100th Storeplan contract.

The nationwide Storeplan scheme fully supports and services Greenbergs completed new works installations or an existing property portfolio. Providing a fully integrated reactive store shop front emergency call out, repair, replacement and maintenance service the scheme is specifically for multiple retailers. 

Storeplan is supported and managed by a new bespoke job management system, designed and built in house specifically for Greenberg, which provides clients with up to the minute job information. 

Managing Director, John Askew, said: Storeplan offers multiple retailers peace of mind as they can be confident in the consistent service and the understanding that we have of their business. Our aim is to respond quickly and meet the clients requirements as quickly as possible with minimum disruption. The fact that we have now signed 100 Storeplan contracts is testament to this.

For more information see:

Yorkshire company powers up to meet global demand

posted 14 Dec 2010, 06:05 by RiDO Rotherham

Yorkshire based company EMSc (UK) Limited is pleased to announce it has signed exclusive agreements with companies in Australia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to market and install its Powerstar voltage optimisation solution. 
In Australia the company has set up a joint venture with Perth based Cockburn Electrical and in the UAE it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Wildcatos Oil services. The company carried out in-depth demographic and market research to identify countries in which to market Powerstar. 

Like the UK, there is a growing demand in both Australia and the UAE not only for a ‘greener’ approach towards energy consumption, to overcome concerns about the impact on the environment, but also from businesses that are looking to find ways of reducing their costs through a more efficient use of the power they have to buy from energy providers.

In line with the success the company has been experiencing in the UK, it has also seen sales for Powerstar grow in markets across Europe. To meet demand in Cyprus, for example, the company has had to employ a new business development manager.

To further highlight the growing international interest in Powerstar Dr. Alex Mardapittas, designer and managing director of EMSc, recently appeared on national television in South Africa, on CNBC’s Powerlunch, to talk about Powerstar. He was also invited to be a guest speaker at the South African Energy Efficiency Convention. 

Dr. Mardapittas commented; “As international interest in Powerstar increases, we will continue to identify and implement the most appropriate distribution strategy for each market. In Australia and the UAE our partners have long established businesses and know their respective markets very well.”

Powerstar is the most efficient voltage optimisation system in the world and can save up to 26.1% of total electricity consumption and related CO² emissions, all without compromising the supply to electrical equipment. The payback period is typically between 0.8 and 2.5 years.

Powerstar provides an instant solution to businesses and organisations, enabling them to save money by reducing energy consumption, at the same time cutting carbon emissions.

RiPWIRE secures major partnership to deliver superfast broadband

posted 14 Dec 2010, 00:35 by RiDO Rotherham

Leading internet service provider RiPWIRE has secured a major partnership with a Barnsley-based IT specialist to deliver superfast broadband to homes and businesses across South Yorkshire.

RiPWiRE, who are based in RiDO’s Fusion @ Magna Business Centre, provides a range of high quality internet and telecommunications services to the public sector, businesses and home user, from the latest in high speed wired and wireless broadband internet access, telephony, VoIP, mobile data and voice, managed services to cloud computing services. The company also provides leading edge applications for the healthcare and retail sectors.

RiPWiRE was the first ISP to sign-up to the digital region network, which is managed by Digital Region Ltd on behalf of the four local councils in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster, along with Yorkshire Forward. The development is potentially the largest open-access broadband platform infrastructure in the world.

The deal will see Barnsley based Arcus Technology become a partner with RiPWiRE in helping to offer high-speed internet connectivity to the Digital Region network, which will see South Yorkshire become one of the first areas in the country to provide download speeds of up to 40Mb per second.

Arcus will provide value added services to RiPWiRE's high speed network connection's for local businesses to ensure they can take advantage of the new broadband, which will have download speeds up to ten times faster than the average broadband.

Quentin Birchall, director of RiPWiRE, said:

"The availability of super-fast broadband is a great opportunity for businesses across South Yorkshire as it will enable them to enhance their online service to their customer base and improve the way they operate.

"During the last few years there has been significant growth in the creative and digital sector in this area and the new network will enable those companies to develop even further.

"We are delighted to establish a partnership with Arcus as they will be able to reach even more customers in new markets and help build the connectivity to the network."

Dale Heath, director of Arcus Technology, added:

"This partnership is fantastic news for local businesses as it will see more people gain access to super-fast broadband which has a service level agreement.

"The industry and technology being used is constantly moving forward and it is vital that companies do the same otherwise their current internet access will struggle to cope with ever increasing demands.

"We are confident that the agreement with RiPWiRE will be the start of further collaboration between the two companies, including Cloud based services which enables lower cost delivery of services, such as IT support, security and business continuity."

To find out more about RiPWiRE please visit

Newburgh And Firechill Joint Venture Creates Up To 100 South Yorks Jobs With New Low Carbon Cooling Product

posted 9 Dec 2010, 00:44 by RiDO Rotherham

A new joint venture (JV) between Rotherham-based Newburgh Engineering and Leeds-based Firechill is set to create up to 100 new jobs in the manufacture of a new energy-efficient low carbon refrigeration system in Rotherham.  The new JV, named Firechill Manufacturing, is the result of a Yorkshire Forward initiative to search for new opportunities to bring manufacturing into Yorkshire.  

The Sheffield office of national law firm Nabarro advised the JV in securing the US-developed Cooltec heat-activated technology that Firechill Manufacturing will manufacture and market to worldwide. 

Newburgh Engineering is a high precision manufacturer and it will make the units at its Rotherham site, while global distribution, recruitment and marketing will be undertaken by Firechill Trading.  

Nabarro partner Andrea Cropley, who advised Newburgh says:

"Firechill Manufacturing is set offer a new, commercial green product manufactured in our region for export to a worldwide market.  This is an excellent example of private sector growth in our local economy following assistance from a public sector initiative.

“The creation of the new jobs will depend on the success of the product in the coming years, but early estimates of up to 100 new jobs is not over-optimistic.”

Vincent Middleton at Newburgh Engineering says:

“The assistance from Nabarro in forming the JV was critical, it is now up to all the Firechill team to now deliver a world beating green product that’s Made in Sheffield.”

RiDO help MTL Group's Rotherham relocation project

posted 7 Dec 2010, 06:59 by RiDO Rotherham

MTL Group is the latest investor to be helped in relocating their business to Rotherham by the Council's investment service.

MTL Group is a fast growing contract manufacturing company that works with a global blue-chip customer base in the defence, construction equipment, rail and off-shore wind energy sectors. When the company was looking to expand and relocate from its current premises in Sheffield to a new 300,000 square feet advanced manufacturing facility, they turned for help to Rotherham Investment & Development Office (RiDO), the regeneration arm of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.

MTL Group had identified a property in Rotherham through their agents Knight Frank and RiDO helped by linking them in to other organisations such as Rotherham Council Planners, CO2Sense, and The University of Sheffield's AMRC with Boeing to ensure a smooth relocation in to the borough. MTL are currently undertaking work on the Brinsworth premises which is being project managed by Knight Frank's Building Consultancy Team and plan to be operational there in Spring 2011.

Dr Henry Shirman, managing director of MTL Group said; 

"Since 2006, our business has trebled sales to £50 million and more than doubled staff levels to 310. We needed to move to a larger facility that would both house the company's state of the art equipment and provide space for continued expansion. We wanted to stay within the same area and Rotherham offered a great option. RiDO linked up with Knight Frank to take all the hassle out of the property side of the move, and have introduced us to some key organisations in the Rotherham area."

Andrew Nettleton from RiDO, added;

"We are very pleased to welcome MTL Group to Rotherham. The Borough has an established reputation for manufacturing excellence, and having businesses such as MTL alongside our existing companies means that this reputation will be further enhanced in the future."

RiDO provides a professional and completely free service that can help with everything from finding the right sites and premises, to planning advice and guidance, from finding and training recruits to locating new customers and suppliers.

For more information visit

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